A post by Fiona (Diary of a chainstitcher)
The pattern: McCalls 7330
The fabric: Stretch Denim – Soft Indigo
It is quite unusual nowadays for a RTW garment to catch my eye but a couple of months back I spotted a utility style jumpsuit on the high street and just knew it was the kind of clothing I would wear day in, day out. I actually considered buying it but when I tried it on didn’t love the fit and there were a couple of things I wanted to change about it; namely the lack of hip pockets and the elasticated waist which I never find very comfortable on a woven garment. If I didn’t sew I might have bought it anyway but luckily I do and so I attempted to make myself a version I loved even more!
The fabric choice was the easy part as the second I laid my hands on this Soft Indigo Stretch Denim I knew I had found just the thing. It is the perfect mid weight for this style and is wonderfully soft with an element of drape which works better than a crisp stiff denim would for that gathered bodice. The little bit of stretch combined with the smooth soft finish makes it so comfortable to wear too!
I was initially drawn to the rich indigo blue colour which has a wonderful vibrancy. I’m happy to report that the colour has maintained that deep intensity when washed and didn’t stain my hands at all while I was working with it which sometimes denim in colours this rich can do!
I spent quite a lot of time looking for a pattern with similar design elements before settling on McCalls 7330. I made quite a few changes to the pattern to get the look I wanted and the fact that this denim was so obedient and easy to work with meant I could get really creative. The seam ripper came out quite a lot as this process was one of trial and error but the denim looks no worse for it and bounced back into shape now matter what I threw at it.
The main changes I made were to add width to the legs (which is beautifully emphasised buy the weight and structure of this denim), make a tie belt for the waist and raise the waistband to sit on my natural waist rather than high hip. I think I could have done with raising it a little bit more and taking some depth out of the crotch too but overall I’m happy. I added pocket flaps and a pin tucked detail to the breast pockets which meant I could do a bit more topstitching which is my favourite!
I took inspiration for my topstitching from the white on navy detailing on the traditional French workwear which is so on trend at the moment. I used recycled sew-all thread for topstitching, it is slightly off white as the white white felt too harsh and cartoon like against the deep indigo.
Getting all the details of this design right took a lot of time and patience but I am delighted with the resulting finish. The stretch in the denim does make it a little more difficult to get crisp pointed corners as it is easy to stretch things out of shape with aggressive use of a point turner! Some of mine are a little more rounded than I would like. But the denim more than makes up for this with the way it moulds and shapes so beautifully with steam and holds a nice clean edge too.
Head to toe denim feels like quite a style statement but I’m in love with the look and finish of this. It feels high fashion but is really practical too and the soft denim makes is so comfortable . Thanks Fabric Godmother for solving my ‘do I buy it or make it’ conundrum. It turns out with the right fabric I could make it and make it better!